Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oh my friends. Not too much energy to write a long note tonight. Today was an exceptionally challenging day. Many times I wanted to stop. Many other people stopped and that seemed like a very sensible thing to do. I mean, what's with all this making things that are one thing stand for something else anyway? Couldn't this just be a bike ride?

Today's distance was listed as 111 miles. I have ridden over 100 miles a couple of times. But that was a long time ago. And at the end of each of those rides I was quite spent. And then I rested for a long time. And there was no wind, at least none that I recall.

Today, Weather Underground (sometimes my friend and sometimes, like today, NOT my friend, predicted 15 - 20 mph winds coming from the South by South East. We were riding south by south east which meant that that wind was going to be smack in the face. And it was going to continue all day long. So not only was today's ride exceptionally long, it was exceptionally difficult. Rough road. Strong wind. Very long distance.

Some riders stopped at the first SAG stop - 20 miles out. Some more stopped at 40. Many stopped at 60. I thought about it, was tempted, and kept riding. I thought about it again at 80. And I thought about it again at 100. I mean, 100 is a respectable distance. But Jan looked and me and told me I could do it and, well, at that point, it seemed she was right. Connie and Sherry had gone on ahead. So all four of us were still on the road.

I drank, ate, took electrolyte tablets, ate more, drank more, and, most importantly, thought about Andrew and Lynn and Lucas. Andrew does not have a choice. He has to keep going. Lynn, too, is keeping going. Lucas tried as hard as he could and he lost the fight. So it seemed like I should, wanted to keep going.

I made it. I rode all 111 miles. Jan and I came in together. Sherry and Connie arrived a few minutes before us. Marci and Lois also made it. And everyone, all of them, stood out on the road and cheered as we rode in, almost as the sun set. We'd started before sunrise. 12 hours, more or less.

This was the hardest bike ride I ever did. And I am going to go to bed.
Thank you for sticking with me on this.
I do read your notes and they mean a lot to me.


Good night Andrew and Lynn and Lucas.
God Bless you all.


sasper said...

Thanks sending your blog to JJ. and Cole, his brothers, and Jennifer, Lucas's mom. He was kind of an angel...and now he is an angel. He would thank you...

Heather Masterton said...

so proud of you, darling, so proud of you, and you know that is not because of how many miles you ride each day - but so proud that you DID IT!!! Love, lcm1 and hm

Like the pirate joke Maria told us: "Why didn't the 11 year old kid get to go see the pirate moveie?? Because it was rated arrrrggghhh!!!" That's you, baby: AARRRGGHHH!!!!

Marguerite said...

Hi Laurey,
I met you at your WCR/OCNA kick off party in San Diego. I checked your blog for the first time tonight and read of your incredible ride today. What a feat for a Sunday and everyday. You are an inspiration, how great to see and be in this country in a way to actually experience it and breathe in every inch.
May the wind be at your back.

Marguerite Grifka

e wms said...

Even before your amazing ride Sunday you have been inspiring every one I know in Asheville. What an amazing ride! 111 miles into the wind! My friends and I talk about you every day, but this leaves me speechless.

restless said...

You are such an inspiration. I so enjoy reading your adventures. Thanks for taking the time to share them with all the folks pulling for you in Asheville.

Anonymous said...

laurey, you don't know me but i know ann your sag driver. please let her know i didn't picture her as a blue boa chick. we were on a ride in ny. your posting makes me want to go again myself except for the wind. i hope ya'll are enjoying our state. if you liked the hotel in gage wait until you get to kerrville. keep pedaling. becky hettinger

Nancy said...

Way to go! You are truly inspiring!

Nancy said...

What an inspiration Laurey. That last 10 miles seemed like the hardest ones on our 2007 journey. I totally bonked at the last store before the end. But, after much nourishment and encouragement from our sag, we made it to Del Rio, the last ones there. But, they cheered as we rode in as well. Like you, I think it was the hardest bike ride I have ever done.
Your writing is an inspiration to me. Hope the wind is at your back today.
Happy Trails,

Rick said...

Laurey, don't know if you got my note but I was able to follow your trip while in China. Great job.
I am back and will work with some of the Chambers on your route.Keep it up.

BarbaraAnnDavis said...

111 miles into the wind, sunup to sundown - you're awesome! That's an amazing accomplishment and perseverence adventure. Enjoy the hill country ... you earned it!
Miz Davis

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Laurey, I'm following your adventure and enjoying it so much that over on my own blog

I've just given you an award. You're welcome to visit and copy it for passing on eventually . . . or not. (I know your time to play on the Internet is limited.)

Ride on!

Anonymous said...

Hi Laurey,
Bill and I have been reading this every day. Amazing!
Go girl.

God bless.
Joan and Bill Wheatley

sasper said...

Hi Laurey, this was taken from the local Newport Beach paper: The Daily Pilot. Just want to thank you again, and let you kind of know who Lucas was...

Newport Beach teen dies of cancer in Maui

Brother describes him as having so much love to give and having a strong will to live in the time he was allotted.

Lucas Campanaro, his loved ones say, lived by the credo, “When push comes to shove, One Love.”

The motto alluded to Bob Marley’s song, which calls for strength and companionship in the face of adversity and despair.

Reggae was a source of strength for Campanaro as he faced hard times, his brother JJ said, and, in turn, miraculously Luke was a pillar for his family to lean on before he died on his 18th birthday.

“There was never, ‘I can’t.’ It was always ‘I can,’ with him,” JJ said of his brother. “He was radiating this type of casual ... it was so beautiful to watch him be so strong in the face of the heavy storm. He had so much love to give everyone and he gave it every day.”

On March 24, he succumbed to rhabdomyosarcoma, cancer of the connective tissues. Up until the end, JJ said, his younger brother had enough strength for everyone, and he died with his family by his side in Maui, as they held his hand and listened to his favorite music.

“He had it all planned out. He died on his 18th birthday and there was no holding him back from anything,” JJ said.

“He did it his way this time. He achieved it with flying colors ... he’s not restricted anymore because of this disease. Now he’s as mobile as he wants to be and we’re happy for that.”

Luke’s story first gained local attention a few years ago when the surf-loving Newport Harbor High School student was diagnosed with cancer. The school rallied around him, just a freshman at the time for a month on campus when his family got the prognosis.

Relatives said his spirit was unyielding, and when it would be understandable for him to seek pity and feel sorry for himself, he didn’t.

“He had such a strong will to live in just the time he was allotted,” JJ said. “We were able to say our goodbyes. He had strength all the way up until he took his last breath.”

Newport Harbor’s Make-a-Wish club was able to fund a trip for Luke and his family to Hawaii in 2006, a time when he was able to paddle out into the surf while the disease was in remission.

The disease’s ebbs were only temporary, though, and after frequent chemotherapy and offers from hospitals across the nation to try various new, radical treatments on him, Luke decided he would take control of his life, his disease and enjoy as much time with his family in Maui as possible.

Luke’s family will honor him Sunday at A Street near the Balboa Pier beginning at 3:30 p.m.

A paddle-out ceremony will begin at 4 p.m.

The family is inviting anyone who cared for Luke or who was touched by his life to the ceremony, and to his favorite restaurant, Newport Rib Co., 2196 Harbor Blvd., at 6 p.m.

He is survived by his mother, Jennifer, and his brothers, Cole and JJ.

Anonymous said...

Way to go, finishing this long ride with the fierce Texas headwinds. I have signed up for the ride next year and am following everyones blogs this year